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The third Kerala Blog Express with 30 bloggers from 25 countries, who will promote tourism as they travel across the state for the next two weeks, was flagged off by Tourism Minister A.P. Anilkumar on Monday. Also Read - Fact Check: Pregnant Elephant Was NOT 'Fed' Cracker-Stuffed 'Pineapple' in Kerala's 'Malappuram', Maneka Gandhi Called Out For Communalising Animal's Death
The concept of inviting bloggers to promote Kerala Tourism began in 2014 and has since reaped rich dividends for the tourism industry. Also Read - 'Absolutely Unacceptable,' Says Prakash Javadekar, Initiates Probe in Kerala Elephant's Death
“I hope that this year it will be even more successful and will further help in promoting our tourism,” said the minister.
This year, registrations hit a new high with more than 1,000 bloggers from 66 countries registering for the event from whom the 30 winners were selected.
The participants this year include Carla Boechat and Patricia Schussel Gomes (Brazil), Rebecca Coutant and Brittany Kulick (US), Els Mahieu (Belgium), Javier De La Cruz Valdemoro (Spain), Verushka Ramasami (South Africa), Matthias Derhake (Germany), Celine Simon (France), Brittany Hemming (Canada) and Aleksandra Swistow (Poland).
Kerala Tourism secretary Jyothilal said the state, which was “one of the top ten biodiversity hotspots in the world, is a land where ayurveda, yoga, martial arts are all present to be seen for the visiting tourists”.
The bloggers shared their joy and excitement on being the part of the Blog Express.
Nidhi Thakur from Himachal Pradesh, the only Indian blogger among the 30, said she was very eager to explore Kerala that was familiar to her only through movies with songs with dance sequences.
Mirela Surghie from Romania said Kerala was known for its ashrams in her country.
“Seventy-five percent of my travel blog readers are women. Travelling helps women live their dreams and enjoy themselves, which I am doing now,” she said.
Kerala Tourism director T.V. Anupama said the bloggers through this trip “will get to know Kerala’s products like Kathakali, sadya (the traditional lunch served on a plantain leaf) and also the village experience”.